If you allegedly possessed or controlled a large quantity of drugs, or the police have evidence that you sold or provided prescription drugs, narcotics, or other controlled substances, then you will be charged with distribution. A distribution charge in Alabama is a serious felony drug crime.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a drug distribution attorney from Alabama Criminal Lawyers. Whether you are accused of distribution of prescription drugs or narcotics, you need a tenacious criminal defense attorney to fight for you.
Under AL Code §13A-12-211, you can be charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance if you furnish, give away, deliver, or distribute any controlled substance detailed in Schedule I through V.
You also can face drug distribution charges based on the weight of the drugs in question rather than your specific conduct. This means you can potentially be charged with distribution based on having a large quantity of drugs in your possession and not necessarily on your intention to distribute or sell them.
The law states you can face charges for unlawful possession with intent to distribute if you knowingly possess the following quantities of a controlled substance:
Drug distribution or possession with intent to distribute are both charged as Class B felonies.
The amount of the controlled substance(s) involved matter a great deal in Alabama.
If you have less than the amounts of above, you may be charged with drug possession. An experienced drug distribution attorney may be able to fight to have possession with intent to distribute charges reduced to simple possession by highlighting the flaws in how controlled substances are weighed and examined by law enforcement.
However, if you had actual or constructive possession of one or more drugs in greater amounts than the maximums described, you will most likely face drug trafficking charges under AL Code §13A-12-231.
Trafficking is a felony, and the penalty depends on the type and amount of drug in your control. The statute provides specific minimum and maximum penalties.
As a Class B felony, distribution of a controlled substance or drug possession with intent to distribute is punishable by between two and 20 years in prison as well as up to $30,000 in fines.
If you face a Class A felony for distribution to a minor, you can be sentenced to between 10 and 99 years or life in prison, and up to $60,000 in fines.
Alabama’s sentencing guidelines provide drug crime worksheets for judges. The judge will fill out the appropriate worksheet, which based on your current conviction, criminal record, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances will provide a score. This score corresponds to a recommended term of imprisonment.
Additionally, if you are convicted of selling or distributing a controlled substance on or near a school campus, or within a three-mile radius of a school, college, or university, then you will face an additional five years of incarceration in state prison under AL Code §13A-12-250.
Alabama makes it a felony to distribute drugs to teenagers under the age of eighteen if the individual distributing drugs is eighteen or older. If an individual sells drugs to someone who is thirteen or younger, the individual will face even more significant penalties. These laws include the distribution of a variety of drugs including amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and opium.
There are two ways that this crime can result in even more substantial charges. If an individual is found distributing illegal drugs on the campus of a school or within a three-mile radius of the campus, a penalty of five years in prison will be added to such a charge. Individuals also face an additional penalty for distributing drugs to a minor within three miles of a public housing project.
Penalties For Distributing Drugs To A Minor
Even individuals who do not have a prior criminal record and are charged with a nonviolent offense, the resulting penalties can be substantial. Individuals who are charged with distributing drugs to a minor face significant penalties because this charge is considered a Class A felony.
If convicted, individuals face a minimum of ten years up to life in prison. Individuals might also face fines up to $60,000. The state of Alabama also refuses to grant probation for this type of offense.
Distributing Drugs To A Minor in Birmingham
Fortunately, there are several ways that individuals can defend against charges of distributing drugs to a minor. Some of the potential defenses that are most often used by individuals include demonstrating that the alleged illegal drug was not a controlled substance but was legal in nature, that the individual who is charged had no intent to distribute drugs, an illegal search and seizure resulted in the violation of constitutional rights of the individual, or that law enforcement does not have any evidence to demonstrate that the individual was distributing drugs to a minor.
Some individuals are even able to claim the defense of entrapment, which occurs when an individual would not have committed the crime in question without the aggressive nature of law enforcement.
Alternative sentencing programs for drug offenses are typically reserved for low-level, non-violent offenses. If you are facing a felony offense for drug distribution or possession with intent to distribute, you are not eligible for a diversion program or alternatives to incarceration.
If you work with a lawyer from the beginning to have your original charge amended to a misdemeanor based on the circumstances, you may be eligible for certain diversion options.
When facing distribution charges based on the weight of the drug or your alleged conduct, contact a distribution lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at Alabama Criminal Lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case and review the evidence against you to determine the strongest possible defense.
We will review whether the police violated your constitutional rights during a stop, search, or seizure. If you were subjected to an unlawful stop or search and seizure, we will fight to have any evidence that came from those circumstances ruled inadmissible.
If the drugs were not yours, we will fight to prove you did not have actual or constructive possession of the drugs. We will present evidence that you were unaware of the drugs in your vehicle, home, business, or vicinity. We may present evidence in court that the drugs belonged to a specific other person or group.
It is also possible the police arrested the wrong person, and the evidence against you is circumstantial. If there has been a mistake of identity, we will seek to prove you were not present at the time of the crime or in any way involved with the offense. We are not afraid to question alleged “eyewitnesses” and notoriously unreliable identifications.
The only way to aggressively defend yourself against drug distribution charges is to work with a highly experienced and skilled attorney. You should not rely on a public defender. Despite having your best interests at heart, he or she does not have the time or resources to handle your case as well as a private defense attorney.
At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we have years of experience fighting against felony drug offenses. Do not hesitate to call us if you are charged with or under investigation for: